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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2004 Jul;24(7):744-55.

Laser speckle flowmetry for the study of cerebrovascular physiology in normal and ischemic mouse cortex.

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  • 1Stroke and Neurovascular Regulation Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


Laser speckle flowmetry (LSF) is useful to assess noninvasively two-dimensional cerebral blood flow (CBF) with high temporal and spatial resolution. The authors show that LSF can image the spatiotemporal dynamics of CBF changes in mice through an intact skull. When measured by LSF, peak CBF increases during whisker stimulation closely correlated with simultaneous laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF) measurements, and were greater within the branches of the middle cerebral artery supplying barrel cortex than within barrel cortex capillary bed itself. When LSF was used to study the response to inhaled CO2 (5%), the flow increase was similar to the response reported using LDF. For the upper and lower limits of autoregulation, mean arterial pressure values were 110 and 40 mm Hg, respectively. They also show a linear relationship between absolute resting CBF, as determined by [C]iodoamphetamine technique, and 1/tau(c) values obtained using LSF, and used 1/tau(c) values to compare resting CBF between different animals. Finally, the authors studied CBF changes after distal middle cerebral artery ligation, and developed a model to investigate the spatial distribution and hemodynamics of moderate to severely ischemic cortex. In summary, LSF has distinct advantages over LDF for CBF monitoring because of high spatial resolution.

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